Tommy Muska, West Mayor, said a number of people have got hurt and a large number of people will not be at the same place tomorrow. The massive explosion, the sound of which was even heard as far as 70 kilometres away, has reportedly killed 15 people besides injuring 160. Official sources said the number could get higher and touch even 60 to 70.
The death also includes some officials and firefighters. Several nearby houses were also badly damaged in the blast and the authorities evacuated the small town of 2,500 people. A nursing home was also damaged. Its residents were evacuated.
Muska said the explosion looked like as if a nuclear bomb had gone off. The US Geological Survey had said earlier that the impact of the blast resembled an earthquake of 2.1 magnitude.
D L Wilson of the Texas public safety department compared the explosion with those in Iraq or the Oklahama City bombing of April 1995.
Although the exact cause of the blast was not officially confirmed till late, it is believed that the huge amount of ammonium nitrate kept in the plant might have led to the disaster.